Parliamentary Party Wants to Ban Whaling by Law Skip to content

Parliamentary Party Wants to Ban Whaling by Law

By Andie Sophia Fontaine

Iceland whaling Hvalur hf
Photo: Golli. A whale at Hvalur hf.’s whaling station in 2015.

In a newsletter sent by the Left-Green Party, they state that the current law on whale hunting is such that issuing a license to hunt whales is unavoidable. They say that they want to ban whale hunting by law, but the parliamentary majority to do so does not yet exist.

128 fin whales

As reported, Minister of Fisheries Bjarkey Olsen Gunnarsdóttir–who is in the Left-Greens–issued a permit to whaling company Hvalur hf. to hunt 128 fin whales this summer.

Kristján Loftsson, the CEO of Hvalur, was unhappy with the decision anyway, saying that the permit was granted too late for them to do any whaling this summer–despite the fact that this same company hunted 24 fin whales last year when the company had an even shorter season, consisting of just the month of September, following the expiration of the temporary ban issued by former Minister of Fisheries Svandís Svavarsdóttir.

Speaking with Vísir, Kristján affirmed that Hvalur would do no whaling this summer, but would very likely be seeking damages from the government.

Nobody pleased

The newsletter acknowledges that no one has been happy with Bjarkey’s decision, Vísir reports, and that changes will need to be made in the future.

“Regarding the future, work will need to be done to protect the whale stocks and sustainable practices in the whale industry with whale watching and other humane practices, as the International Whaling Commission has increased emphasis on over the past years and decades,” the newsletter reads, adding that whale hunting must be banned by law.

In closing, the newsletter states that until this ban is issued, the party will continue to fight for the lives of whales, and animal welfare in general.

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